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Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia Hardcover – February 1, 2009

4.8 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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About the Author

Richard Whitt is a veteran journalist recently retired from a long career at the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. He lives in Marietta, Georgia.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: NewSouth Books; First Edition edition (February 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1588382060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1588382061
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,343,928 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Pulitzer Prize winning author of this book lays out a story of the abuse of power by the President of The University of Georgia and how back room deals and self serving politics have resulted in multiple problems over the tenure of the currrent President, Michael Adams. In addition to the current managment of the Univeristy others come in for criticism for their actions or inattention to their responsibilites including the Board of Regents, the Attorney General of Georgia, and the current govenor, Sonny Perdue. Even the media are taken to task for simply attributing any criticism of the current administration to the widly publicized rift between the ionic Vince Dooley, the former football coach and athletic director, and Adams-overlooking the indications of more serious issues. In spite of some successes during Adam's tenure, a lack of trust has resulted in the withdrawal of support from some alumni. In addition there are now two separate Foundations accepting donations and the University has lost significant royalties on a successful drug developed by a former researcher in the Veternary School. As state funds for higher education continue to decrease, the importance of private fundraising and money which can come from the new products produced by researchers has increased. As one reviewer states "preoccupation with power, perks, and petty politics weakens the glue of trust necessary to bind highly educated, independent minded scholars together with others in the common cause of excellence". This book is recommended for anyone interested in UGA or the governance of state supported institutions of Higher Education.
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Format: Hardcover
Sad to read this book & see how politics are now driving UGA.
Someone said to me recently that "UGA is not longer 'of Georgia' - meaning not our old beloved school of our youth.
Now driven by global thinking, radical minds, a power hungry egotistical president, etc.
If you leave money to UGA in your will, be sure & restrict it or else see it go to causes that will make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.
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Format: Hardcover
Very interesting read that sheds light on all the shortcomings of Dr. Adams. I was extremely excited to get this book and it did not disappoint. Scandals, affairs, and back room deals have run the state of Georgia for years and the trend seems to be continuing. Great read for UGA fans, students, and alumni to see how the system actually operates.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I am a UGA grad, and I had never delved into the details behind the controversial leadership of Michael Adams during his 16 year tenure of President of the University of Georgia. My impression of Adams before reading this book was that he played a primary role in leading Georgia on its march to national prominence among state universities. Reading this book definitely changed my impression.

State universities are big businesses that, due to budgetary pressures, receive less and less funding from their respective state governments. The corollary is that these same institutions now require presidents who are dynamic fund raisers to bridge the financial gap. Michael Adams was touted by those who hired him as the man who would fill that role, and ironically, he ended up hurting UGA's fund raising through his use of the UGA Foundation as a personal piggy bank. Adams supplied his adversaries with plenty of ammunition that would have, in the words of many, resulted in the firing of a Fortune 500 CEO. Fortunately for Adams, he was very nimble at forging alliances with powerful men who were also vulnerable, specifically Board or Regents member and UGA mega -donor Don Leebern, Jr. and newly elected Governor Sonny Perdue.

Adams was also adept at protecting himself by shifting the negative PR created by his own actions (e.g., his controversial hiring of Jim Harrick as basketball coach over AD Vince Dooley's objections) into a positive - he was able to portray himself as standing up to the powerful football crowd who allegedly wanted him fired after Adams refused to renew Dooley's contract.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I was at the class reunion of the deceased writer of this book. He was a Pulitzer prize winning author and journalist. I ordered it and read this fascinating story of how change occurs in University circles and how often the graft and corruption follows it wherever it goes.
Even after a forensic audit which exposed wrongdoing to the authorities, people just look the other way and leave a trail of crumpled human beings in their wake. Lies, deceit, corruption, and a lack of respect for years of tradition all are exposed amidst immorality and uncontrollable spending at this university.Behind the Hedges: Big Money and Power Politics at the University of Georgia
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This well-researched book reveals the truth about the tenure of Adams, the present president. It also reveals the truth about the Board of Regents in GA which controls the university system. There are no educators on that board. It is filled with wealthy friends of the governor ( who have, by the way, contributed major money to his re-election ) and other politicians who know little if anything about the realities of higher education. That Adams has not been fired for major errors and fraud is mainly due to a board which refuses to admit error in appointing him as well as to a super wealthy friend on the board who insists on his retention. Unfortunately, this story is certainly duplicated in other states but definitely not as vividly. The author has all the substantiated truth in this excellent volume. A sad but true story that perhaps merits a revealing movie !!
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